Introducing our new, “Match Points” segment where we answer questions from our listeners! In this episode, we share insights on game improvement; the volley; and discuss the “must have” skill or shot necessary for success in today’s game. Share with us your thoughts below in the comments section.
I’d like to answer some of our listeners’ questions in a segment we call, “Match Points”. If you’d like to send us a question, message us on our FB page at facebook.com/rockandrallytennis, or via Twitter at rock_and_rally.
The most common question we get asked is: How do I improve my game?
There is no shortcut or magic potion to improving your game. It simply boils down to good old fashion hard work and practice. Of course, it starts with having the proper right mindset; along with an honest desire to improve; and commitment to doing what it takes to make those improvements. As I discussed in Podcast Episodes 4 and 10, it’s essential to practice the right way and not be afraid to try out new skills or shots under real match conditions. The reality is — it takes time to master a new skill or shot; to break old and not-so-good habits while establishing new and better ones. It’s not going to happen overnight. In most instances, there is a steep learning curve. You will make a lot of errors initially, and should expect to encounter growing pains. Enduring short-term pain for long-term gain is an important and unavoidable part of the journey to improving your game. The key is to stick with it.
Tom in Vancouver asks: What is the key to hitting a good volley?
When it comes to executing crisp volleys, there are three main components to keep in mind:
1. Springy athletic legs & good footwork
2. Punch! Don’t swing!
3. Keep the tip of the racket head pointing upwards
The common misconception about executing solid volleys is that it’s takes place primarily above the waistline; particularly your arm, hand and racket. The fact is the volley is mostly about your legs. Getting yourself into proper position to hit a good volley is about 3/4 of the challenge.
“Punch! Don’t swing!” refers to making a short punch or jab when volleying, and not taking a full backswing and forward swing at the ball. Typically, the court position you are in when volleying is somewhere inside the service box between the service line and net… On most occasions, hitting the volley is about using the pace of your opponent’s shot and redirecting the ball. This can be effectively achieved with a short punch or jab. You don’t need to swing at the ball.
Jenny from Palm Desert asks: What is the one skill or shot that is a must have in today’s game?
I believe in today’s so-called first-strike tennis, which is all about the Three “P”s – power, pace and penetration – players must have a broad and deep inventory of physical skills. This includes everything from having exceptional mobility, to mastery of footwork techniques, to being able to hit traditional closed and open stance strokes off of both forehand and backhand wings. Additionally, an ability to consistently transition to offense from defensive positions and possessing a sufficient variety of shots and versatility of play styles, just to name a few… It’s very challenging to win consistently when you have to scratch and claw… for every point, game, set and match versus opponents who are faster and more agile, physically bigger and stronger. It’s tough to deny the importance of possessing raw physicality if you’re going to be successful in this era of the power tennis game.
Tags: tennis, rock, rally, podcast, career, forehand, power, pace, penetration, volley, leg, footwork, practice, short-term, pain, long-term, gain preparation, mobility, racket, tip